Augusta will be joining a national array of cities that bring new art into public spaces through the temporary lease of outdoor sculptures. 120 artists from across the country submitted images and physical specifications for their ready-toinstall, original sculptures. The top ten sculptors were selected and invited to bring their sculptures to downtown Augusta for installation. The pieces will remain a part of the Sculpture Trail for two years. Some of the most engaging sculptors in the country show their artwork this way, gaining professional recognition and sometimes having their pieces purchased. There is also a possibility that a piece may be purchased to become a permanent part of a host city’s public art collection. Augusta’s Sculpture Trail public art sculptures will be located downtown and placed at intervals that will make for a fun and easy outdoor walking trail. Selected locations use City of Augusta sidewalks for access, making them fully accessible for everyone to enjoy. The Greater Augusta Arts Council will produce a digital walking tour that can be accessed from any mobile device. This tool will help visitors learn specifics about each work of art and artist while they explore the Sculpture Trail.
An early version of one of the walking tours can be found here: https://opentour.emory.edu/augustatours/augusta-sculpture-trail
Public Art is an important part of our city, and the Greater Augusta Arts Council is working to bring even more public work to the Augusta community. In early 2012, the Greater Augusta Arts Council was named as the Public Arts Agency for the City of Augusta. Since then, they have made great strides in their goal to establish a program of high quality public art in the local area with the help of the City of Augusta and the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Wherever it is located, public art creates community. Public art can add value and positivity to neighborhoods, it can bring a smile to someone’s face in an unexpected part of town, and it boosts people’s health, happiness, and well-being. Art enhances communal spaces like parks, pedestrian thoroughfares, public buildings, and wherever people gather. Sculptures, murals, and other art installations also strengthen a sense of identity in the community.